Teach Healthy Habits

By teaching your children healthy habits, and modeling these behaviors in yourself, you can help your children develop healthy practices for life

January 8, 2013
Teach Healthy Habits

Today I was up at 5:30 AM and on my home cardio machine by 5:45 AM… after I dropped the old coffee filter all over the kitchen floor! Cardio entertainment for the day was one of my 5-year-old children, who had made his way down the stairs to watch me finish my cardio session through the banister. I have to say, my 5-year-old cardio stalker is much better than the type I often attracted at the gym, and much cuter too! And no matter how sleep deprived I am that day, I always look forward to my morning cardio. It clears my mind, works my body, and gets me ready for the day ahead—a much needed energy boost!

Onto my next task, by 7:00 AM I have three 5-year-old children asking, “What’s for breakfast?” So many moms ask me, “How do you find time to cook clean meals?” Well, here you go: For the most part, I prep all my family’s meals on Sunday nights. So for breakfast, my kiddos get whole-wheat banana waffles that were made on Sunday and placed in zip lock bags in the fridge. A quick re-heat and there you go; healthy, easy, and yummy!

By 9:00 AM the kids are loaded into the car and ready for pre-school, and I’m off to the gym to weight train! (Yep, I’m that mom who simply tosses on a hat and gym clothes to drop the kids off at school.) My weight training is truly my “me” time. I admit, at one time I fell victim to a cardio obsession, and prior to learning how to weight training I only ever did cardio. After my trio was born and I resumed my regular cardio routine however, I became discouraged with the results; or should I say, lack thereof. When I began lifting, I started to see my body transform! And today I would train weight over cardio any day. I love the feeling of accomplishment I get from weight training, and I always go into the gym with a plan!

I carry a workout log with me throughout my training session to help keep me focused and to track my goals. As I progress with my training, I like to look back at the improvements I have made and the mini goals that I have accomplished. Just as I teach my kids to set goals, I, too, set goals throughout my training.

Around noon I am back at the pre-school, this time covered in sweat and ready to take on the afternoon with three 5-year-old children... this really should count as a second cardio for the day, but I have yet to convince my trainers of this!

My typical afternoon entails a trip to the park. My children enjoy playing outside and I encourage physical activity; there little bodies will thank me when they are older. Setting healthy habits now will make it easier for them in the future. On this particular day, I did walking lunges home from the park, and before I knew it all three of my kiddos were following my lead! Yep, I’m sure we looked funny lunging through the neighborhood, but at least I know my legs appreciated the workout!

As I watched my kids copy my actions, it reminded me that even at a young age, daily habits are picked up by children and mimicked. My hope is that when my children are free to make their own decisions about what is healthy and what is not, they will have the knowledge and example to make good decisions.

By 6:00 PM this mama is exhausted, but the kids are ready for dinner and a bath. I must say, I have raised fruit- and vegetable-loving kids. So dinner is generally some kind of fruit (bananas seem to be the hit this week), and vegetables with either a pasta dish with meat or some kind of soup. During show prep, I have separate meals from the family, and I prep all of them ahead to make mealtime a little easier.

By 8:00 PM my kids are tucked in and ready for bed. This is when I get to sit down and start my work for the night. Don’t get me wrong, I lose motivation at times too and this is why I feel setting goals and establishing a plan for the week is so critical to staying on track. Schedule your meals, schedule your workouts, and make time for fun too—this holds you accountable throughout the craziness of the day!

IFBB Pro Sandi Forsythe
Team MHP Athlete
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